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How the Food Scene is Taking Costa Rica by Storm

Category: Destination Guides | 07.25.2019

Owners of the sodas (family-run restaurants) and higher-end, fine dining establishments throughout Costa Rica have experienced a recent paradigm shift in what they value most as restaurateurs. Many restaurants rarely have the same day-to-day menu and focus strongly on locally sourced ingredients acquired through strong relationships with nearby farmers, fisherman, and ranchers. Let’s have a closer look at the evolving food scene in Costa Rica.


An ongoing theme of the budding food revolution going on in Costa Rica is the growing belief in telling meticulously crafted stories with each and every dish. There’s one specific commonality these culinary masters all share; an honesty to their roots and dedication to representing their backgrounds with the food they cook.

Paying homage to Costa Rica’s regions, cultures, and seasons – with carefully-constructed recipes, fresh produce, and local ingredients – is at the heart of the country’s emerging food scene.

On top of Costa Rica’s abundant natural resources providing restaurants with a robust variety of fruits and vegetables year-round, access to two oceans makes for mouth-watering seafood dishes. And of course, there’s the rich coffee that’s synonymous with this majestic getaway spot.

Best Restaurants in Tamarindo

All of Costa Rica is making culinary waves, but the focus of this blog is on the vibrant gastronomical scene in Tamarindo – which plays host to several of the following mouth-watering spots:

Seasons by Shlomy:  

Seasons may cook Mediterranean fusion-style dishes, but it possesses all the qualities of exciting Costa Rican cuisine, like locally sourced produce, fabulous seafood, and an internationally seasoned (pardon the pun) chef with skills to spare.

The Mahi Mahi and green risotto are two of the more popular dishes.

Green Papaya Taco Bar:

Easily one of the best places to grab a bite to eat in Tamarindo, Green Papaya Taco Bar brings a bit of Mexico to Central America. This casual spot may be a bit pricier than the other local hot spots but it is well worth it. Don’t miss out on the mahi-mahi tacos or the delicious veggie enchiladas. If you’re still hungry, go for the Chocolate Lovers dessert – you won’t regret it!

El Chiringuito:

Offering local, American, International, Fusion, Bar, and Mediterranean fare, El Chringuito provides its visitors with a casual – yet entirely elegant – dining experience. The delectable fruit bowls are to die for – and while there’s no shortage of mouth-watering standard dishes (e.g., a trademark breakfast burrito), this Tamarindo foodie staple serves awe-inspiring culinary delights that’ll satisfy the most adventurous palates, such as skewered octopus.

Waffle Monkey:

No restaurant recommendation list is complete without both an all-day breakfast option and a waffle joint – and Waffle Monkey successfully checks those two boxes. It has the distinction of being Tamarindo’s only waffle restaurant, and patrons can’t seem to get enough.

In line with the high-level cooking standards taking over Costa Rica’s restaurant kitchens, Waffle Monkey’s waffles are scratch made.

There are gluten-free options as well, highlighted by a churro waffle that’s a hot topic amongst visitors. Plus, an assortment of coffee-based drinks and milkshakes round out the menu.

Café Tico:

Café Tico is a quiet spot with a prime selection of very local coffees, many of which are produced by single multi-generational families throughout Tamarindo. This method removes the middlemen from the process and helps bolster the thriving local scene. Also, Tico sells its own beans, ground coffee, and an array of obscenely delicious, locally produced jams.

Volcano Brewing Company:

Known for its exceptional service, Volcano Brewing boasts its own craft beer selection (highlighted by a lip-smacking IPA), on top of scrumptious pub fare which includes nachos, a trademark burger, chicken wings, and an enormous pork chop.

Most importantly, it’s located right one the beach, and the owners aren’t afraid to hire a mariachi band to add to the ambiance.

Conclusion: Foodies worldwide will fall in love with Costa Rica!

Here is more related articles for the foodies:

And Culinary tours to explore…

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